Singers in Salford are celebrating the return of in-person Christmas concerts this year.

After the coronavirus pandemic forced many music groups to cancel their festive shows last Christmas, musicians from across the city are excited about being able to perform together again this December.

Ashley Mellor, director of the Salford Chamber Choir, said: “It’s been so great to recently get back together and sing together.

“To actually feel everybody’s energy in a room and just to vibe off each other and just hear harmonies, that’s why we’re all in a choir.”

He added: “We’ve got one big Christmas concert where we’re joining with another choir within our organisation in Staffordshire, and we’ve got a few little bits of carolling and a few care home visits which we’re really looking forward to.

“Just getting out there and making music is really important to us this year.”

The difference in restrictions between now and last year is also good news for the musical members of Salford’s church congregations, who were unable to sing their usual carols last Christmas.

Rev Gareth Thomas, vicar of St James’ Hope Church, said: “It’s only really in the second half of this year that we’ve been able to start to sing again.

“Christmas without the carols and things was difficult last year.

“We used CDs and things, but it isn’t the same.”

He added: “I think for many of us it’s been so difficult over the last year and a half, and last Christmas particularly felt quite isolating for some of our congregation.

“This year, being able to sing together and celebrate Christmas is rather special.

“Between our two congregations we’ll probably have around 100 people, so I imagine we’ll make a good noise!”

St James’ Hope Church’s Candlelit Carol Service with Salford Elim Church will take place at 4.30pm on Sunday 19th December.

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